IRVING, Texas – If his season-ending press conference was any indicator, Jason Garrett is seemingly safe in retaining his place as the Cowboys’ head coach. What the Cowboys will do with the rest of their coaching staff is the question still unanswered.
Garrett spoke to the media Monday evening following a day of exit meetings, both with the Cowboys’ roster as a whole and on an individual basis. In the course of closing the Cowboys’ third consecutive 8-8 season, Garrett said he had many productive conversations – including with his boss, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones.
“Positive conversations -- and again we’re focused on doing our jobs as coaches,” Garrett said. “That’s my job, to focus on doing my job as the head coach of this football team the best I can. That’s all of our coaches’ jobs and all of our players’ jobs. That’s really what our intentions are on.”
Those comments seem to echo Jones’ from Sunday night, in the moments following the Cowboys’ season-ending loss to Philadelphia. Jones has repeated several times in the past six weeks that he had no intention of replacing his head coach, who is 29-27 since taking over the job late in the 2010 season.
“I have spoken at a little bit of a more appropriate time here three or four weeks ago, which I said at the time that I was with Jason, and I thought that his future and what he was going to be doing with us was good,” Jones said Sunday night.
If Garrett’s future is secure, then the process of deciding the rest of the staff’s future begins Tuesday. The Cowboys’ coaching staff spent the full day Monday closing out the 2013 season – a step Garrett said was necessary before continuing toward next season.
“We’re not 24 hours out of playing our last ballgame, so today was about meeting with our players, both individually and collectively in a team meeting and doing exit physicals and exit meetings with them,” he said. “Starting tomorrow we’ll go back and start evaluating a lot of different things, schemes that we use, the personnel evaluation will go on here over the next couple of weeks.”
Garrett declined to comment on whether those evaluations would lead to changes within his coaching staff. The Cowboys’ defense, in its first season under the guidance of Monte Kiffin, finished last in the league in yards allowed with an average of 415 yards per game.
With offensive coordinator Bill Callahan in charge of playcalling, the Cowboys’ offense finished No. 16 in the NFL in yards per game – though they did score a fifth-best 27.4 points pergame.
“I don’t w ant to make those evaluations right now. We’ll step back and evaluate the whole thing,” Garrett said. “Evaluate our offense, our defense, our special teams, how we do things as a staff in a lot of different ways and how we can make it better.”
Kiffin said Sunday following the Eagles game that, were it up to him, he’d like to continue his tenure in Dallas.
“I’m proud to be a Cowboy, and I’d like to have another shot next year,” Kiffin said. “We’ll see. I just coach one game at a time, and I just want to coach another game.”
It remains to be seen how that will play out. Garrett declined to elaborate on the decision-making process for his coaching staff. But with the Cowboys’ season now closed, those decisions are now the focus.
“Again, I don’t want to get into those conversations right now. We spent today visiting with our players,” Garrett said. “We’ll start evaluating what we’ve done over the course of the season tomorrow.”